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Donations of Blood Needed To Meet Increased Demand During Holiday Season

By Rhonda Miller | Published 23 Dec 2011 07:01pm | comments
Lucy Catchot donates a pint at The Blood Center in Ocean Springs.

The busy holiday season is the time blood donations are needed most in Mississippi. MPB’s Rhonda Miller has more on those who keep the gift of life flowing.

Lucy Catchot was finishing her errands and heading home when she decided she had an important gift to deliver.

"The Blood Center keeps sending me little postcards and I feel guilty not to, because it’s the thing to do and people need it. And it don’t cost anything," says Catchot.

At The Blood Center in Ocean Springs, Catchot spends a few minutes in the chair, with her arm stretched out, to deliver her pint of blood. She knows how important it is because she worked as a nurse for 42 years.

“I’m really a chicken when it comes to giving blood," Catchot says. "I’ve probably done it a dozen times in my life."

Blood collection supervisor Laura Slater runs through the follow-up advice.

"You need to drink lots of fluids the next few days, eat a good meal your next meal, don’t do any heavy lifting with this arm...,'" says Slater.

The supply at The Blood Center comes in steadily most of the year. But with families traveling and colleges blood drives suspended during the holidays, supervisor Amber Freeman says donations slow down, just when the need increases.

"People having elective surgeries, accidents," says Freeman. "Every day there’s leukemia patients, cancer patients, burn victims, some patients with sickle cell have flare-ups and they do need blood."

Freeman says some donors come every 56 days, the required time to wait between donating pints of blood. She’d like to see more donors like that.

"Come in, give blood, pay it forward, let somebody else have a life," Freeman says. "Every three seconds someone needs blood. And with each donation you can save up to three lives."

The American Red Cross says January is one of the toughest times of the year for the blood supply. That’s why the Red Cross is sponsoring blood drives in Biloxi and Gautier this week.



Lucy Catchot donates a pint at The Blood Center in Ocean Springs.



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